Accor 'will weather the storm' despite £335m loss

24 February 2021 by
Accor 'will weather the storm' despite £335m loss

Accor has reported a €391m (£335m) loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), a fall of 147.4% on 2019's €825m (£708m) profit.

Accor said it had seen signs of significant recovery in all regions in the third quarter of 2020, with a strong summer season in Europe. However, the new restrictions implemented by European governments in response to the resurgence of the coronavirus in the last quarter halted the summer recovery, with revenue per available room (revpar) down 66.2% in the fourth quarter.

In the UK across the year, revpar fell by 73.3% and was down 78.5% in London specifically, which was slightly harder hit than the rest of the country (-67.3%) where domestic activity was stronger.

During the year, Accor opened 28,942 rooms across 205 hotels, and at the end of the year it had a portfolio of 753,344 rooms (5,139 hotels) and a pipeline of 212,000 rooms (1,209 hotels).

In November last year, it was revealed that Accor had entered exclusive merger negotiations with Hoxton and Gleneagles owner Ennismore. Completion of the transaction is expected to occur in the first half of 2021. Sébastien Bazin, chairman and chief executive of Accor, said this was "a major acceleration" and a statement of Accor's positioning, with plans to take the combined business from 73 hotels to around 300 over the next four to five years.

As of 31 December 2020, 82% of the group's hotels were open (more than 4,000 units).

Bazin said: "In 2020, the hotel industry navigated an unprecedented crisis. In response to the pandemic, Accor, its employees and its owners made an extraordinary effort across the globe to support those most affected, continuing to uphold their values of generosity, hospitality and sharing. At the same time, the group's rollout of measures to protect its financials was quick and disciplined. The measures delivered benefits over the second half of the year, and helped to limit the impact of the health crisis.

"The group also continued with the rollout of large-scale initiatives to plan ahead for the economic recovery and consolidate its leadership position in lifestyle: implementation of a new streamlined and agile organisation, a merger with Ennismore through the creation of a dedicated entity comprising 12 unique hotel brands, and the signing of a strategic partnership with the Faena brand.

"In 2021, while the vaccine is ensuring a gradual rebound in tourism⁠ – largely driven by leisure guests – Accor is ideally positioned to benefit from the recovery and press ahead with its roadmap."

Bazin also said he was confident Accor would "weather the storm" and that he felt there was an opportunity for hotels to provide spaces for 'nomad workers' who are not going into offices but do not want to work from home. Accor opened its hotel rooms for rent by remote workers last year.

Accor has a global portfolio of 5,000 hotels and residences across 110 destinations, across brands including Ibis, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Fairmont and Raffles.

Photo: Shutterstock

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